St. Augustine Grass? I have to admit I've never seen someone use a push mower in the south. We have very thick St. Augustine that grows VERY quickly.
I was under the impression that reel mowers don't work well for this type of grass- is that true?
asked by G. Johnson on June 14, 2008
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My lawn in Central Florida had Bahia in the front and St. Augustine in the back. My first Scott's mower lasted ten years mowing this lawn. My second Scott's is on its fifth year, now mowing Centipede grass in South Carolina for the last two years.

Bahia was the easiest to cut, but the long seed stems had to be mowed frequently or cut by hand as they were too large to fit into the reel. The St. Augustine grows almost too fast to cut, unless you're willing to mow two-three times a week. Since we xeriscaped most of the yard, we had smaller than average areas than the typical Florida lawn to mow and this made the job manageable.

Both looked excellent after cutting with this lawn mower. I never regretted mowing with the Scott's 20 Classic, but then, I was into this reel mower almost as much for the workout as all the other benefits (low noise and no fumes).

Hope that helps & good luck!

Steve B
Amergin answered on June 16, 2008

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I have a house that sits on just shy of a quarter acre, it has a decently sized lawn of thick St. Augustine in both the front and the back yard and my husband and I have very little difficulty with this mower.

We live in Austin, TX and bought the house and the mower in early November. We found that in the fall through winter the lawn only grew fast enough to need mowing about once every three weeks. It was a pretty easy task that maybe took 15 minutes for each lawn (front and back). In the spring we really had to keep up with mowing every single week at maybe 20-25 minutes per lawn. We got behind once and the entire lawn got to about five or six inches long and that was a bit of a chore to get through. A single week's spring growth was not really a problem though. Now it is summer and the lawn's growth is slowing. It's looking like we can mow every other week or every week and a half without too many troubles. I'd want to avoid mowing off more than one to three inches of length at a time, but it looks like spring is the time period to watch out for growth-wise... at least in our climate. Different parts of our lawn grow at different rates, I'm good with one or two parts of the lawn (maybe 2 or 3 square yards) being 6 inches high, but defer the task to my husband when the entire lawn is that long.

If you do get to the point where the lawn is six inches long and you have to hack through it, my husband seems to prefer doing two passes at a jog instead of trying to shove through it at a walking pace, the momentum really helps. For just a normal week's growth, you can just walk a normal pace behind the mower without any problems. It was also pretty hilarious to watch my husband run across the lawn with grass clippings flying all over the place!
Claire N. answered on June 24, 2008

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I live in Pearland, Texas and I have St. Augustine grass. I have a ten-year-old gas-powered Toro and I cut my grass 3" high. I recently bought a Scotts reel mower that also has a 3" setting. I was so excited! I took it out for its first journey around my yard. So that this new reel mower and I could get acquainted, I started on the side of the house where the grass was the shortest due to excessive heat and lack of rain. All set up and ready to go, I began mowing. My reel mower, however, chose only to go about two feet. So I backed up two feet and, moving forward again, I got a few inches past the two feet I had already mowed. This continued for about thirty minutes. I had mowed two fifteen foot rows, each twenty inches wide. Little scrawny weeds were sticking out laughing at me. I mowed over them again and again, but to no avail. My reel mower wouldn't even gracefully mow over the tiny portion of my yard that it had already cut. The grass looked short - too short - and I was dripping wet. I had my whole yard still to mow. I had no choice but to park the reel mower in the driveway and pull out the Toro (which initially was a little jealous of the new reel mower). The ol' Toro raised up with pride and finished the yard in under an hour. Not really sure what to do with the reel mower at this point.
chatterbox answered on July 13, 2009

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My question exactly, my husband likes to keep the St. Augustine LONG, but I can't stand the noise, the mess, etc.......can anyone else weigh in about the issues of St. Augustine and a push/reel mower. I couldn't tell from AMERGIN's post......do you mean you mowed 2-3x PER WEEK? Of course that would be in Florida, we are here in central Texas, no rain in sight.......so i bet it doesn't grow as fast as in Florida. Please let me know what other info you get, thanks.
L. Barron answered on July 10, 2008

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I live in Houston and just mowed 5" St Augustine down to 3". No problem and in places the grass was easily 6". The mower is perfect for what I want it to perform. Quick trimmings and a bit of excercise without gas and engine maintenance. The mower would not be for you if:
1) Perfectionist that can't stand a blade or two out of every thousand sticking up.
2) You have a weed problem. It will leave them standing up glaring at you.( good for us as we can find a kill them)
3) if you have a lot of sticks, finger size or greater. They wedge the blades and freeze the process till you remove them.
4) uneven surface. We have a flat yard, but I can see how uneven yards would cause problems. Notice a hill is not a probelm, only if there are alot of variences in height in small areas.

It's easier than pushing around my previous push powered mower up to around 6". Backing up does not engage the blades and is always an easy process.
L. Gamble answered on May 27, 2010

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My review:

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2U9ZT3MBVC4XU/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

Short answer: St. Augustine in an area with lots of rain means lots of work.
R. Lee answered on August 17, 2010

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I live in the southern part of louisiana, and we have st. augustine grass in our front and back yards. My scott's reel mower cuts through the st. aug with no problem. Yes, it is a workout and a small branch will stop the reel instantly. I feel my grass always looks better (greener) and stays healthier due to being scissor cut with the Scott's. I use a silicone spray on the blades and I have yet to sharpen the blades. It is quieter than a gas-powered mower. I have some crabb grass and I just run the reel mower several times over that spot until it is cut down to my liking. I have it at the lowest setting and I cut every 6-7 days. It's hot and humid down here and all my neighbors who use gas-powered mowers cut every 6-7 days also. I like not havng to use gasoline to cut my grass. It is my understanding that a Brill mower can't cut st. augustine grass. My neighbor down the street uses a Brill on his st. aug and his lawn never looks even nor good. Obviously, he didn't do his research. If your st. aug is healthy and you have some crabb grass and weeds the Scott's will cut it. But I do agree with all the other reviewers - you can't let the grass get over 6 inches. You'll have to pass the reel over several times and in different directions if you let the grass get too long. You'll get an awesome work out, though!
Mama of four answered on March 22, 2012

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Okay, it's two years later and I still use my reel every other week. No problems, no breakages, and I used one sharpening kit the beginning of last year. Its not really a sharpening kit, the reel isn't cutting the grass as much as pinching the grass.
L. Gamble answered on May 8, 2012

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I too have St. Augustine grass and after 15 minutes of attempted grass cutting Scotts 20" was retired. It stayed in my garage until recently when I contacted my garbage hauler who will drag the over rated beast away. Good riddance!!!
Thoreau answered on March 29, 2010
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